Obituary: Canon Bruce Grainger

01 November 2019

A correspondent writes:

WHILE at medical school, Bruce Grainger realised that he was called to ordained ministry, and, having completed his National Service, he read theology at Nottingham University. He trained for the priesthood at Cuddesdon Theological College.

After ordination in Bradford Cathedral, he served as an assistant curate at All Saints’, Bingley, with special responsibility for St Aidan’s, Crossflatts, from 1964 to 1967. From then until 1972, he was Chaplain of The King’s School, Canterbury, where he also taught religious studies, biology, and chemistry. He became a Minor Canon of the Cathedral, where he regularly preached and precented. In 1969, he returned to St Aidan’s, to preach at the consecration of the new church building.

Bruce was, at heart, a dedicated and loving parish priest. He served as Vicar of Baildon from 1972 to 1988, and was Vicar of Oxenhope from 1988 to 2004. He completed a Master’s degree at Hull University in 1983. In 1984, he became a Hon. Canon of Bradford Cathedral. While in Oxenhope, he also held diocesan posts; he was Director of Ordinands until 1996, and then Ecumenical Officer until his retirement in January 2004.

While always caring for the needs of his parishes, Bruce also took on other posts during his ministry. These included lecturer for the Northern Ordination Course, and chairman of both the diocesan liturgy committee and the Bradford Area RSCM committee. For two years, he chaired the Bradford Diocesan House of Clergy, and he served as a member of the General Synod for eight years. He was a national selector of ordinands, a pre-theological moderator for the Archbishops’ Council, a Section 23 schools inspector, and Rural Dean of South Craven. He retained some of these posts in retirement.

During the interregnum at Bradford Cathedral, he was a pastoral assistant, and, more recently, was appointed a cathedral chaplain. He was a member of the cathedral education team, a lecturer for the Workers’ Educational Association, and taught Hebrew for Bradford University and the diocese.

His outside interests included choral music, bell-ringing, old motorbikes, cars, and clocks and watches; he enjoyed arranging and conducting the annual Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Carol Service. He was also a loving husband, father, and grandfather, and was enjoying and looking forward to family visits, holidays, and celebrations.

He died on 2 September, aged 82. A few days before, on 31 August, he had preached at St Aidan’s, Crossflatts, in its 50th-anniversary celebrations. He leaves his widow, three children, four grandchildren, and one sister.

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